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AUDIOPHILE AUDITION - web magazine for music, audio & home theater

August 4, 2004

CES Efforts on Behalf of Digital TV - The Consumer Electronics Association has called on both broadcast and programming entities to provide more information to consumers about the transition to DTV. They urged stations to run public service announcements about DTV and HDTV and suggested that cable operators support digital-cable-ready integrated sets with adequate stocks of CableCARDS to provide convenient access for new digital viewers. The U.S. Senate has voted in favor of a bill allowing satellite providers to extend network HDTV coverage to consumers in rural areas who are unable to received local stations’ digital signals - thus advancing the nation’s move to a digital TV world.

DTV Penetration to Date - The CEA also reported that over 11 million individual DTV products have been sold to consumers thru May of this year. Sales have exceeded $20 billion and 9.5 million households have at least one DTV set or monitor. Of these sets only 1.3 million have OTA (over-the-air) reception capability, but this figure should increase steadily due to the FCC requirement that all tuners in TV sets must now receive OTA signals as well as cable or satellite. (With a proper antenna OTA also offers the highest-definition signal.) The CEA projects sales of 9.7 million DTV units in 2005 and 16.2 million in 2006. CEA President Gary Shapiro said “the figures show that the vast majority are making high-definition television the television of choice.”

UK Survey Shows “Sound Quality” a Priority - A recent survey of 800 UK listeners commissioned by Sony, Phillips and Universal Music on behalf of SACD found that 75% said sound quality was the most important to them. And 80% of that group said they like their music “to be crystal clear, free from noise and interference.” About a third of those surveyed said although at home they listen on the best equipment they can afford, when on the move they are less fussy about fidelity. [It appears there were no questions about multichannel listening.] Only 26% reported that sound quality was unimportant to them. Unfortunately for audiophile listeners, sales of MP3 players has increased by 121% in the past two years and by the end of this year is expected to top 5 million units. “Sex” is no longer the most-searched word on the Net - it’s now “MP3!”

First Universal Disc Changer - Onkyo has introduced the first six-disc progressive scan DVD player which plays both SACD and DVD-A music discs. The carousel changer is also compatible with DVD-R & RW, CD-R & RW, JPEG Picture CDs, and both MP3 and WMA audio files. The DV-CP802 Changer has an SRP of $500.

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